Inventory of the
Lennox family fonds

Inventory #F0549

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0549
Title:Lennox family fonds
Dates:1900-1963, predominant 1939-1946
Extent:0.54 metres of textual records
ca. 218 photographs : b&w and col. ; 43 x 30 cm and smaller.
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
The Lennox family had traditional roots in Simcoe County. William James Wilfred Lennox (1883-1968) and his wife Fannie Jane Evangeline Watt (1895-1980) both shared a common ancestor : they were both descended from two brothers of Innisfil Township, John and William Lennox, who emigrated from Londonderry, Northern Ireland in the 1830s. William was William's grandson and Fannie was John's great-granddaughter. Wilfred "Wiff" Lennox grew up on his father's farm in Newton Robinson, Ontario and later obtained his Bachelor of Scientific Agriculture in 1905 from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario. Fannie was the daughter of Arven Curickshank Watt, the local incumbent of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Bond Head. Fannie's family moved to Toronto in 1912 where she attended Oakwood Collegiate and the Toronto Normal School and taught for several years before her marriage in 1916 to Wilfred. Wilfred Lennox found employment with the Federal Department of Agriculture in the Plant Products Division. He would retire in 1948. During WWII, he was seconded to the Wartime Prices and Trade Board in Ottawa. Wilfred and Fannie had three children, William ("Bill"), John Watt Lennox and Elizabeth Jane Lennox ("Bettie"). The family settled on Quebec Avenue in Toronto. The children attended Brown Public School and North Toronto Collegiate Institute. John Watt Lennox was employed during the summers of 1939 and 1940 as a bell boy and later a deck hand in the Great Lakes passenger steamship "Manitoba". In September 1939 he enrolled at the Ontario Agricultural College. His roommate there was Richard Palmer. During his second year at O.A.C., John met Muriel ("Mime") Young, who had enrolled at the college for women, the Macdonald Institute. He carried her picture with him overseas when he joined the air force during WWII. John was a member of the Canadian Officers Training Corps on campus and in early 1941, he applied to the Royal Canadian Air Force. His brother William joined the RCAF after his marriage in June 1942. Soon after completing his second year examinations, John was called up to the Manning Pool in Hamilton, where he enlisted. John kept a correspondence with Richard Palmer, who also enlisted in the RCAF (he was later killed in action in Burma) and family members throughout his training at the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at bases in Sydney, Victoriaville, Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Moncton in the Maritimes. In Moncton he received his wings as sergeant pilot. By early 1942 he was posted at Debert, NS, and was shipped out to Scotland in February of 1942. John completed his training in October 1942, but was required to retrain in order to fly "heavies" - Halifax and Wellington bombers. In January 1943 he received his letter of commission as a pilot officer in England, and was assigned to the 405 Pathfinder Squadron, which participated in bombing missions over Germany in May of 1943. In April he assumed control of his own craft and Commonwealth crew. On the night of May 4/5, 1943 during his seventh sortie in a Halifax bomber with other allied bombers targeting Dortmund in the Ruhr valley, Lennox and his crew were shot down along the German-Dutch border. John Lennox and his air gunner, Bernard Moody were killed, but the remaining crew survived. Lennox was one month short of his twenty-third birthday. He was initially buried in Lingen-am-Ems and later moved to the Reichswald Forest Military Cemetery near Kleve, Germany just over the border from Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of correspondence, photographs, diaries, college yearbooks and transcriptions of oral interviews created and accumulated by members of the Lennox family including husband and wife Fannie Jane Evangeline Watt and William James Wilfred Lennox, and their children William, John Watt Lennox and Elizabeth Lennox Locke.

The majority of archival material relates to John Watt Lennox (1920-1943), who was killed in action in WWII. Correspondence is accompanied by detailed inventory and contextual information compiled by Elizabeth Lennox Locke and her nephew Dr. John Lennox.

Restrictions on
Access and Use:
No restrictions on access.
Finding Aid: File list available.
URL of Finding Aid:
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2009-003. Further accruals may be expected.
Physical Condition:Materials are in excellent condition.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Dr. John Lennox (nephew of John Watt Lennox) and Elizabeth Lennox Locke (sister of John Watt Lennox) in 2009.
Provenance Access Points:Lennox (family)
Lennox, John Watt, 1920-1943

Date of creation: 2009/03/23
Date of last revision: 2013/04/10
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